wrestling / Columns

Kofi Kingston vs. The World

March 18, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Kofi Kingston Fastlane

All top stars become masters of overcoming the odds. No matter what an evil authority figure puts in their way, the top star overcomes and finds his way to his goal of obtaining a championship. If you can’t handle a little adversity, you’re not the guy, brother.

Kofi Kingston has never really had a chance to be a top star. He’s hung around WWE for over a decade, collecting tag team & secondary championships like nobody’s business. Kofi has had plenty of memorable moments along the way. He’s done a lot of amazing things.

He’s never faced a challenge like he will on this week’s episode of SmackDown Live. I think some are overlooking the difficulty level, assuming that KofiMania is going to be a thing no matter what. It behooves us to take a closer look at just what sits in Mr. Kingston’s path.

Randy Orton
Height: 6’5
Weight: 250 lbs.
Age: 38
Titles Held: 13 WWE/World Championships, 1 Intercontinental Championship, 1 United States Championship, 2 Tag Team Championships, 2009 & 2017 Royal Rumble Winner, 2013 Money in the Bank Briefcase

Beating Randy Orton in a singles match should be enough to get somebody a title shot. We’re talking about one of the most accomplished grapplers in WWE history, a true ring general.

Orton represents something of a personal demon for Kofi as well. The last time Kofi was really taken seriously as more than a mid-card singles guy was during a feud with Randy Orton. The fans seemed ready to support him at a new level, but Kofi couldn’t quite break that barrier.

One moment from that feud seemingly ended Kofi’s chances.

“STUPID STUPID STUPID” is the main thing people remember. Can Kofi change our memories, or at least create a new one? He’ll have to conquer the demons of his past in order to do so.

Samoa Joe
Height: 6’2
Weight: 282 lbs.
Age: 40
Titles Held: Current United States Champion

Joe’s had an up & down win-loss record since getting called up from NXT, but he’s never failed to bring the fight. He’s also trending upward, having recently won the US Championship & spitting fire on the microphone with the best in the game.

Kofi will have to weather an onslaught of power moves & trash talk to get by Joe. His biggest hope: Joe’s birthday was on Sunday, and we know the big guy likes to party. The big 4-0 + St. Patrick’s Day may have Joe at less than 100%.

Believe me, those hangovers only get worse the older you get.

Height: 6’4
Weight: 267 lbs.
Age: 41
Titles Held: 4 WWE/World Championships, 2 United States Championships, 5 Tag Team Championships, 2012 Royal Rumble Winner, 2015 Money in the Bank Briefcase, 2010 King of the Ring

Height: 6’5
Weight: 232 lbs.
Age: 38
Titles Held: 1 United States Championship, 6 Tag Team Championships

Something I’ve been wondering: Vince McMahon announced “The Bar” as competing in the gauntlet match. Does that mean that Sheamus & Cesaro are entering together, or separately? Traditional rules dictate the latter, but I suspect they were announced together for a reason.

If they are together…well, we saw what happened at Fast Lane.

Kofi’s gonna have a rough time of it either way. Cesaro’s unique strongman offense will be tough to defend against, and Sheamus’s singles track record speaks for itself. No one man can drag the Bar down, but Kofi will give it a shot.

Height: 6’8
Weight: 315 lbs.
Age: 37
Titles Held: 1 Tag Team Championship

We’ve got a lot of big boys in this gauntlet, but Rowan’s the biggest of them all. He & Harper were indestructible for months as Tag Team Champions, and he’s proven equally as formidable while backing up The New Daniel Bryan.

Rowan doesn’t bring the experience that these other men do, but there is one trait he has that the others don’t:

He cares.

Orton & Joe don’t have any love for the current WWE Champion. They’re mercenaries getting paid to do a job…if you asked either one, they’d be more interested in challenging Bryan than helping him out. I wouldn’t count on Sheamus or Cesaro caring too much either. Rowan has size and motivation, two of the main keys to success in life & WWE.

This is impossible.

I have to believe this is one of the toughest gauntlet matches in the history of Western Civilization. Kofi would be the underdog in a singles match with most of these people. Taking them on one (or two) after the other? It’s career suicide.

Kofi does have some advantages working for him. He’s faster than everybody he’ll be going up against. He’s proven to be resilient over the years. His stamina shouldn’t be in question, though he’s been working tags the past few years and singles matches are a different beast. The crowd’s going to be behind him, and even though homefield advantage is often over-rated, it can make all the difference in a difficult spot.

Kofi also has Big E & Xavier Woods lurking around. I’m sure they’ll be banned from ringside, and I’m sure Kofi will tell them he doesn’t need their help. I’m also sure that Big E & Xavier will make their presence felt at some point. You can’t really blame them, their love for Kofi knows no bounds. Hopefully they’ll be smart about it & hit at just the right time.

If Kofi Kingston can survive all of this, WrestleMania against The New Daniel Bryan should be a cakewalk. Which is great, because that show is going to have 17 matches and something needs to go short.

 photo The411onWrestling-KHC15_1A_zps84kblpqb.jpg

The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 4. On today’s show, 411’s Larry Csonka is joined by long time podcasting partner Steven Cook Jr III. On the show, the guys discuss Kurt Angle & Kofi Kingston’s road to WrestleMania, NXT talents getting to work in EVOLVE & other places, Harlem Heat going into the WWE Hall of Fame, and close out discussing the excitement for WrestleMania weekend. The show is approximately 60 minutes long.

Kurt Angle – 3:30
Kofi Kingston – 8:22
NXT Talents Working Evolve & Other Places – 16:40
Harlem Heat & The WWE Hall of Fame – 29:45
WrestleMania Weekend Excitement – 38:10

You can subscribe and listen to the 411 on Wrestling Podcast via the
above player on Transistor, or on the following platforms:

* iTunes
* Spotify
* Stitcher